By Arthur F. Miller, Jr. (with William Hendricks)
Zondervan Publishing House
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Reviewed by Dynamic Steward staff

Each of us has a gift. But many of us never discover it. Instead, we wind up in jobs that don’t suit us, that don’t make full use of our talents, and, ultimately, that we hate. But it doesn’t have to be that way. God designed each of us with unique talents that allow us to enjoy our careers—and serve Him in the meantime.

In Why You Can’t Be Anything You Want to Be, Arthur F Miller Jr. and William Hendricks discuss the Myth of Becoming, the mistaken notion that we can become anything we want. Society reveres money, power, and prestige, and the pressure to climb as high as you can is great. Companies push employees to become leaders and self-starters, and, as a result, many employees wind up in a job mismatch, where they can burn out and develop psychological and health problems.

After two life-changing experiences, Miller spent four decades studying what drives people to pursue specific challenges. He found that each person has a unique motivational pattern and innate giftedness that determines a person’s abilities and behaviors. This giftedness is something that can’t be learned. We’re born with it.

Institutions are responsible for perpetuating the myth that you can be anything you want to be. Work, education, and religion all send messages that contribute to a person’s desire to pursue the wrong path. Miller and Hendricks call on these institutions to change, and suggest ways they can improve.

But how does someone find his or her giftedness? Miller and Hendricks say standard psychological and interest tests do not provide an accurate picture of a person’s motivated abilities. So instead of relying on such tests, the authors use a unique assessment tool called SIMA (System for Identifying Motivated Abilities) to guide readers through the process of discovering their God-given gifts and opening the door to a fun and exciting career. The secret lies in your past experiences.

Why You Can’t Be Anything You Want to Be is for anyone who wants to discover their God-given purpose and serve others through their inherent gifts. Church leaders may especially find this book useful in helping to make fundamental changes in the way they guide others.